Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
The Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Vacuum is the same vacuum cleaner as the V8 Absolute and the predecessor to the V10 Cyclone. It isn’t as powerful or as long-lasting as the V10 but it’s still pretty good and lighter than the V10. It also lacks the direct-drive hard floor polishing brush of the Dyson V8 and V10 Absolute models – but it’s cheaper than both. Other than that, this is every bit the cleaner the Dyson V8 Animal is. It’s light and manoeuvrable, it’s portable and rechargeable and, since it has exactly the same V8 motor that powers the V8 Absolute, it’s powerful enough to dig right down into your carpets and clean just as well as those heavier machines.
Dyson targets the V8 Animal at pet owners, but there’s no difference between the pet hair pickup capabilities of the V8 Animal compared with that of the Absolute. Note that where the Dyson website says “150% more brush bar power”, it’s comparing the V8 Animal with the V6 rather than the V8 Absolute. That’s not to say it isn’t good, though. Aside from the soft roller brush, the Dyson V8 Animal comes with all the same accessories as the V8. This means you get the wand, the motorised direct-drive head and mini motorised head, a rigid crevice tool and a combination tool with a retractable brush. That’s plenty to get most household cleaning jobs done in a pinch.
It lacks the soft direct-drive head of the V8 Absolute, but the regular head is pretty good at cleaning hard floors anyway. The last accessory is the charging station, which I recommend you spend the time wall-mounting. It makes charging the Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Vacuum much easier and it doubles as a storage point as well.
The nylon brushes and powered design of the V8 Animal’s direct-drive head mean it gets deep into the pile of your carpet, while the 425W “digital motor” inside the V8 Absolute has plenty of suction power – 115 air watts to be precise. We were shocked at just how much more the V8 Animal dug out from the carpet. The Dysin V8 Animal will pick up things you never imagined would be on your floor. It’s so effective, in fact, that you’ll need to keep an eye on the roller: it gets quickly wrapped and entangled with fibres. Fortunately, it’s a doddle to pop out the roller for cleaning. Just a twist of the coin-slot release plate on the left-hand side of the head and it springs out, ready to be de-gunked.
The Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Vacuum is also effective on other surfaces and in less demanding conditions. Our impressions of using it day in, day out are that it’s a fantastic cleaner. The direct-drive cleaner head performs superbly on carpets and hard floors alike. The direct-drive head is able to push its bristles deep into your carpet, pulling up fine debris lodged deep in the pile. The direct-drive floor-cleaning head has an articulating ball-joint, so it’s nimble, allowing you to manoeuvre around chair legs and under cupboards quickly and easily. The mini motorised head works well with tough dirt, too.
For more difficult dirt, the Max Power mode switch on the top enables higher suction levels but this will drain the battery very quickly, providing just seven minutes of continuous operation. The switch has been moved from previous models and is now found on the top, making it easier to toggle on and off as needed. It’s the small size and weight (the main unit is just 2.55kg) that make all the difference with the V8 Animal, though. It’s small and light, and it’s much less of a pain to get out and do a quick spot of vacuuming than most regular upright or hose-type vacuums. The long wand helps you get into awkward spaces such as ceiling corners while the mini direct-drive head makes light work of the biggest challenge of most vacuum cleaners: stairs.
Once you’ve finished, you just need to pop it back on the wall-mountable docking station to charge and it’ll be ready to go next time around. A full charge gives you 40 minutes of use and 25 minutes with the head. Adjust the power to maximum, though, and as mentioned that falls to around seven minutes. The battery, which is built into the base of the handle, is easily replaced and new ones (additional cost).
There are some problems with the Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Vacuum. The mechanism for emptying the bin is just as irritating as it is on the V8 Absolute. That is to say, it’s simple, just pull the release handle all the way up then yank it at the top of its travel to release. It just doesn’t feel particularly robust, and it doesn’t disable the motor when the bin is open either. Having said that, the mechanism for ejecting the dust and detritus does work well. As you pull up on the handle, a rubber squeegee scrapes the rubbish out of the bin so it drops neatly out when the door opens. No more shaking to make sure everything’s been removed here, As a whole, an amazing vacuum cleaner that will last you for years and will keep your home clean without hassle.
- Excellent suction for a cordless vac
- Easy to use and highly mobile
- Great with pet hair
- Effective on carpets, hard floors and stairs
- Hygienic bin emptying system
Our verdict on the V8 Animal is that It’s brilliant, combining the thorough carpet-cleaning power of a regular upright vacuum cleaner with the flexibility of a handheld cordless cleaner. Our only issue with it is that, as with all Dysons, it’s expensive and build quality in places feels a little too plasticky for my liking, particularly the bin-release handle. However, the Dyson V8 Animal is one of our top recommendations for a cordless vacuum cleaner. It combines the cleaning performance of a corded upright with the versatility of a cordless – plus it’s highly effective on almost any surface.